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US House Democrats Introduce Resolution Opposing Troop Buildup in Iraq

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq.

Debate on the measure is expected to last all week, with a vote likely on Friday. Each of the 435 members of the House will be allotted five minutes to speak.

The nonbinding resolution expresses disapproval with the president's plan to deploy more than 21,000 additional combat troops to Iraq. But it also affirms support for the American troops who are already serving there.

Republicans were able to block debate on a similar resolution in the U.S. Senate last week. But the measure is expected to be easily approved in the House, with a number of House Republicans joining Democrats to vote in favor of it.

It will mark the first debate on the Iraq war in Congress since Democrats won control of the House and the Senate in elections last November, decided largely by voter displeasure with the war.

A number of Democrats say this non-binding resolution is only a first step that will be followed by tougher legislation.

Democratic Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania said he hopes to add a provision to the president's proposed budget for military operations that would forbid the Pentagon from sending additional troops to Iraq unless they have "adequate training and adequate equipment." He said he believes the Army may have no units that can meet those standards.